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Challenges in Academic Obstetrics and Gynecology Departments

Brubaker, Linda MD, MS; Wagner, Sarah MD; Novielli, Karen D. MD; Pollart, Susan M. MD, MS; Dandar, Valerie MA; Radosevich, David M. PhD, RN; Fox, Shannon PhD

doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3182a9c24f
Original Research

OBJECTIVE: In 2011, the Association of American Medical Colleges conducted a multicenter survey to assess faculty satisfaction, engagement, and retention. This subanalysis describes the perceptions of academic obstetrician–gynecologists (ob-gyns).

METHOD: Fourteen U.S. institutions offered voluntary faculty survey participation. We analyzed demographic information and responses to items within the 10 work-related dimensions. This analysis used pooled cohort data for 329 ob-gyn respondents across institutions.

RESULTS: The mean response rate was 61.7% (9,600/15,570) overall and 66.9% for ob-gyn respondents. Most ob-gyn respondents reported satisfaction with work-related autonomy (72.2%) and a sense of accomplishment in their day-to-day activities (81.9%), including clarity about how their day-to-day activities fit into their medical school's mission (68.4%). In an average week, ob-gyn respondents reported working 59.4 hours on average. The mean percentage of effort varied by activity: patient care (54.8%), teaching (18.1%), research and scholarship (17.0%), and administration (15%). The mean proportion of ob-gyn respondents reporting that far too much or too much of their time and effort was spent on patient care was 35.1%, with more than half (59.5%) reporting far too little or too little of their time and effort was spent on research and scholarship and a third (33.3%) reporting far too little or too little time and effort devoted to teaching. Although 60.9% of respondents thought a mentor at their institution was important, only 22.2% reported a formal mentoring relationship. In the next 1–2 years, 13.4% reported seriously planning or being undecided (18.8%) about leaving their medical school.

CONCLUSION: Academic obstetrics and gynecology departments face challenges balancing faculty members' academic desires and clinical demands.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II

Academic obstetrics and gynecology departments face challenges balancing faculty members' desires for academic activities and the demands of clinical care.

Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Urology, Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine, Maywood, Illinois; the Department of Family Medicine, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; the Department of Family Medicine, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia; the Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, DC; and the Department of Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Corresponding author: Linda Brubaker, MD, MS, Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine, 2160 South First Avenue, Maywood, IL 60130; e-mail: LBrubaker@lumc.edu.

Financial Disclosure The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.

© 2013 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.